On This Day

What Happened in January 1945

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 German air raid on allied airports at Eindhoven/Saint-Trond/Brussels
  • Jan 1 31st Rose Bowl: #7 Southern California beats #12 Tennessee, 25-0
  • Jan 1 11th Sugar Bowl: #11 Duke beats Alabama, 29-26
  • Jan 1 11th Orange Bowl: Tulsa beats #13 Georgia Tech, 26-12
  • Jan 2 Allied air raid on Nuremberg
  • Jan 2 Radio Orange ends cooperation at Liese-Aktion
  • Jan 3 Allies land on west coast of Burma, conquer Akyab

Historic Event

Jan 3 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill visits France

  • Jan 3 Cato-Meridian School, New York, installs germicidal lamps in every room
  • Jan 3 Greek General Plastiras forms government
  • Jan 3 John Patrick's "Hasty Heart," premieres in NYC
  • Jan 3 US aircraft carriers attack Okinawa
  • Jan 4 Germans execute resistance fighters in Amsterdam
  • Jan 4 US jeep-aircraft carrier Ommaney Bay sinks after Japanese kamikaze attack
  • Jan 5 Pepe LePew debuts in Warner Bros cartoon "Odor-able Kitty"
  • Jan 5 Surprise attack on Liese-Aktion-office on Marnix St, Amsterdam

Historic Event

Jan 7 Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce) reports total German victory in the Ardennes

  • Jan 7 The last surface engagement between Allies and Japanese in the Pacific campaign, World War II
  • Jan 8 "Youth for Christ" organizes
  • Jan 8 University of Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team sets an NCAA record by holding Arkansas State to 6 points in a 75-6 win

Historic Event

Jan 9 US soldiers led by Gen Douglas MacArthur invades Philippines

  • Jan 10 LA Railway (with 5 streetcar lines) forced to close
  • Jan 10 No one is elected to baseball's Hall of Fame
  • Jan 12 German forces in Belgium retreat in Battle of Bulge
  • Jan 12 US Task Force 38 destroys 41 Japanese ships in Battle of South China Sea
  • Jan 12 The Soviets begin a large offensive against the Nazis in Eastern Europe
  • Jan 13 Sergei Prokofiev's 5th Symphony premieres by the USSR State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Prokofiev, in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory
  • Jan 14 In Greece, Communists and the British agree to a cease-fire in the struggle to control Athens (and with it Greece)
  • Jan 15 "Make Mine Manhattan" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 429 performances
  • Jan 15 Every Amsterdammer gets 3 kg of sugar beets
  • Jan 15 Red Army frees Crakow-Plaszow concentration camp

Manhattan Project

Jan 15 The Manhattan Project's G-5 Group, headed by Physicist's Donald Kerst and Seth Neddermeyer, take their first betatron pictures of a nuclear implosion at the Los Alamos Laboratory

  • Jan 16 Scottish 52nd land division and 1st Commando brigade-assault at Heinsberg
  • Jan 16 US 1st & 3rd army meet at Houffalise

Historic Event

Jan 16 Adolf Hitler moves into the Fuhrerbunker, his underground bunker in Berlin

Historic Event

Jan 17 Auschwitz concentration camp begins evacuation

  • Jan 17 Gilbert Dodds, record miler (4:05.3), retires to do gospel work
  • Jan 17 Soviet army enters the devastated city of Warsaw and clears German resistance
  • Jan 17 Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews from the Nazis, arrested by Soviet secret police in Hungary
  • Jan 18 Soviet Armed Forces enter Krakow, Poland to push Germans out, only to eventually occupy entire country

Historic Event

Jan 20 Franklin D. Roosevelt sworn-in for an unprecedented (and never to be repeated) 4th term as US President

  • Jan 20 The Hungarian Provisional Government concludes an armistice with the USSR, US, and Britain, agree to pay reparations and to join the war against Germany
  • Jan 21 British troops land on Ramree, near coast of Burma
  • Jan 22 Burma highway reopens
  • Jan 22 Heavy US air raid on Okinawa
  • Jan 23 Dutch Premier Gerbrandy, exiled in London, tenders his resignation

Historic Event

Jan 23 World War II: Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal to evacuate German soldiers and civilians from Prussia by sea

  • Jan 24 Scottish 52nd Lowland division occupies Heinsberg
  • Jan 25 Grand Rapids, Michigan, becomes 1st US city to fluoridate its water
  • Jan 25 Japanese occupiers of Batavia arrest Indo-European youths
  • Jan 25 NY Yankees sold by Ruppert estate to construction magnate Del Webb and partners Dan Topping and Larry MacPhail for $2.8 million
  • Jan 25 West Africa 82nd division occupies Myohaung, Burma
  • Jan 26 Soviet forces reach Auschwitz concentration camp
  • Jan 27 Nazi occupiers forbid food transport to West (The Netherlands)
  • Jan 27 Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps in Poland
  • Jan 27 S Romberg, H&D Fields' musical premieres in NYC
  • Jan 27 Wally van Hall, Dutch banker and resistance leader, arrested
  • Jan 28 Dutch airplanes dump pamphlets on Java
  • Jan 28 General "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell and truck convoy reopen Burma Road to China
  • Jan 28 Swedish ships bring food to starving Netherlands
  • Jan 30 "Wilhelm Gustloff" torpedoed off Danzig by Soviet sub-c 9,400 die
  • Jan 30 American Rangers and Filipino resistance fighters liberate over 500 Allied POWs from Japanese at Cabanatuan
  • Jan 31 US 4th Infantry division occupies Elcherrath
  • Jan 31 Soviet troops reach the Oder River, less that 50 miles from Berlin

Famous Birthdays

  • Jan 1 Jacky Ickx, Belgian auto racer (24 Hours of Le Mans 1969, 75-77, 81-82; 8 x F1 wins; Dakar Rally 1983; Bathurst 1000 1977), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Jan 1 Peter Duncan, Australian politician (Member of Parliament, 1984-96; Minister for Employment and Education, 1988-90), born in Melbourne, Australia)
  • Jan 1 Glen Loates, Canadian artist and painter of wildlife and landscapes, born in Toronto, Ontario
  • Jan 2 Slobodan Praljak, Bosnian Croat general & war criminal, born in Čapljina, Independent State of Croatia (d. 2017)
  • Jan 3 Stephen Stills, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Buffalo Springfield - "For What It's Worth"; Crosby, Stills & Nash - "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"), born in Dallas, Texas
  • Jan 4 JayDee Maness, American pedal steel guitar player (Desert Rose Band - "Love Reunited"), born in Loma Linda, California
  • Jan 4 Vesa-Matti Loiri, Finnish entertainer
  • Jan 4 Richard R. Schrock, American chemist, Nobel laureate
  • Jan 5 Sam Wyche, American NFL coach (Cincinnati Bengals 1984-91; Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1992-95; introduced no-huddle offence), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2020)
  • Jan 5 Roger Spottiswoode, Canadian-British film director, born in Ottawa, Canada
  • Jan 6 Barry Lopez, American author (Of Wolves & Men), born in Port Chester, New York
  • Jan 6 Barry John, Welsh rugby player, born in Cefneithin, United Kingdom
  • Jan 6 Pepé Le Pew, Warner Bros. cartoon character created by Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series), first debuts in "Odor-able Kitty"
  • Jan 6 Allen Appel, American novelist, born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Jan 7 Tony Conigliaro, American baseball outfielder (Boston Red Sox), born in Revere, Massachusetts (d. 1990)
  • Jan 7 Dick Marty, Swiss politician & prosecutor, born in Sorengo, Switzerland
  • Jan 7 Raila Odinga, Kenyan politician, Prime Minister of Kenya (2008-2013), born in Maseno, Kenya
  • Jan 7 Dave Cousins [Hindson], English rock singer-songwriter (Strawbs - "Part of the Union"), born in Hounslow, England
  • Jan 9 Frank Biondi, American businessman (HBO), born in NYC, New York
  • Jan 9 John Doman, American actor, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rod Stewart

Jan 10 Rod Stewart, British singer ("Maggie Maey"; "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"; "Downtown Train"), and model railroad designer, born in London, England

  • Jan 10 Colonel DeBeers [Edward Wiskoski], American professional wrestler, born in Saint Joseph, Missouri
  • Jan 10 Gunther von Hagens [Gunther Gerhard Liebchen], German anatomist who invented the plastination technique for preserving tissue specimens, born in Alt-Skalden, Nazi Germany
  • Jan 10 Spider Sabich, American alpine skier (Olympics 1968; shot by actress Claudine Longet), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1976)
  • Jan 11 Christine Kaufmann, Austrian-born actress (Town Without Pity, Red Lips), born in Lendolf (d. 2017)
  • Jan 11 Samdech Preah Sanghareach Bour Kry, Supreme Patriarch of the Cambodian Dhammayutt Order
  • Jan 12 Maggie Bell, Scottish rock vocalist, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Jan 13 [Eileen] Joy[ce] Chant [Rutter], UK, sci-fi author (High Kings)
  • Jan 14 Einar Hakonarson, Icelandic painter, born in Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Jan 14 Maina Gielgud, British ballet dancer and administrator, born in London, United Kingdom
  • Jan 14 Vonetta McGee, American actress, born in San Francisco, California, (d. 2010)
  • Jan 15 Vince Foster, American lawyer, born in Hope, Arkansas (d. 1993)
  • Jan 15 William R. Higgins, USMC colonel, born in Danville, Kentucky (d. 1990)
  • Jan 15 Princess Michael of Kent, British royal, born in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
  • Jan 16 Kabir Bedi, Pakistani actor (Thief of Baghdad, Terminal Entry), born in Lahore, Pakistan
  • Jan 16 Wim Suurbier, Dutch soccer right back (60 caps; Ajax 392 games) and manager (LA Heat, TB Rowdies), born in Eindhoven, Netherlands (d. 2020)
  • Jan 17 William Hart, American soul singer and songwriter (4 Gents; Delfonics - "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)"; "La-La Means I Love You"), born in Washington, D.C. (d. 2022)
  • Jan 17 Javed Akhtar, Indian lyricist, poet and scriptwriter, born in Gwalior, India
  • Jan 17 Ivan Karabits, Ukrainian composer, conductor, and educator, born in Yalta, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine (d. 2002)
  • Jan 19 Charles Amirkhanian, American composer, born in Fresno, California
  • Jan 19 Vadim Abdrashitov, director (Fox Hunt, Parade of Planets)
  • Jan 20 Eric Stewart, English rock singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer (10cc - "I'm Not in Love"), born in Droylsden, United Kingdom
  • Jan 20 Christopher Martin-Jenkins, British cricket journalist and broadcaster (President MCC; BBC Radio), born in Peterborough, England (d. 2013)
  • Jan 21 Andrew Stein, President of NYC council (D)
  • Jan 21 Chris Britton, British rock guitarist (Troggs - "Wild Thing"; "Love Is All Around"), born in Watford, England
  • Jan 21 Martin Shaw, British actor (The Chief, Inspector George Gently), born in Birmingham, England
  • Jan 22 Michael Cristofer, actor/writer (Little Drummer Girl)
  • Jan 23 Mike Harris, Canadian politician
  • Jan 24 D. Todd Christofferson, American LDS apostle, born in American Fork, Utah
  • Jan 24 John Garamendi, American politician, born in Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Florida
  • Jan 25 Leigh Taylor-Young, American actress (Peyton Place, Alice B Toklas), born in Washington, D.C.
  • Jan 25 Walt Wesley, American NBA star (Cleveland Cavaliers, Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers), born in Fort Myers, Florida
  • Jan 26 Jacqueline du Pré, British concert cellist, born in Oxford, England (d. 1987)
  • Jan 26 Barbara Kruger, American conceptual artist, born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Jan 26 Ashley Hutchings, British folk-rock bassist, vocalist, songwriter, and record producer (Fairport Convention; Steeleye Span), born in Southgate, London England
  • Jan 26 Marti Caine [Lynne Stringer], British comedienne, singer and television host, born in Sheffield, England (d. 1995)
  • Jan 27 Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, North Irish peace activist (Nobel 1976)
  • Jan 27 Harold Cardinal, Cree political leader (d. 2005)
  • Jan 28 Nick Raynsford, British MP
  • Jan 28 José Luis Perales, Spanish pop singer-songwriter ("Quisiera Decir tu Nombre" (I Would Like to Say Your Name)), born Castejón, Spain
  • Jan 28 Robert Wyatt, English progressive rock musician (Soft Machine), born in Bristol, England

Tom Selleck

Jan 29 Tom Selleck, American actor (Lance-Rockford Files, Magnum PI), born in Detroit, Michigan

Donna Caponi

Jan 29 Donna Caponi, American golfer (4-time LPGA major winner), born in Detroit, Michigan

  • Jan 30 Michael Dorris, American novelist & scholar, born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1997)
  • Jan 30 Robert Wittinger, Austrian-born German composer, born in Knittelfeld, Austria
  • Jan 31 Noah Creshevsky, American electroacoustic composer, born in Rochester, New York (d. 2020)
  • Jan 31 Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, British judge, 1st woman to head UK Supreme Court, born in Leeds, England

Famous Weddings

Wedding of Interest

Jan 6 Future 41st US President George H. W. Bush (20) weds Barbara Pierce (19) at the First Presbyterian Church in Rye, New York

Gloria Swanson

Jan 29 Actress Gloria Swanson (45) weds William N. Davey


Famous Deaths

  • Jan 1 Vit Nejedly, Czech composer, dies at the front during WWII at 33
  • Jan 2 Betram Home Ramsay, Engl admiral (Normandy), dies at 61
  • Jan 3 Théodore "Fyodor" Akimenko, Ukrainian composer, dies at 68
  • Jan 3 Edgar Cayce, American psychic (b. 1877)
  • Jan 3 Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski, Polish writer (Lenin: God of the Godless), dies at 68
  • Jan 6 Vladimir Vernadsky, Russian mineralogist (b. 1863)
  • Jan 6 Edith Frank, mother of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank, dies from starvation at the age of 44
  • Jan 8 Jac[obus] P. Thijsse, Dutch biologist and educator (Omgang met planten), dies at 79
  • Jan 8 Karl Krafft, Swiss astrologer who was manipulated by the Nazi regime (b. 1900)
  • Jan 9 Jüri Uluots, Estonian Prime Minister (b. 1890)
  • Jan 10 Rudolf Borchardt, writer, dies at 67
  • Jan 14 Sándor Vándor, Hungarian Jewish composer, murdered in the Holocaust at 43 [1]
  • Jan 16 Dennis Donnini, British rifleman (Victoria Cross), dies in battle at 19
  • Jan 19 Ernest B Allo, French theologist, dies at 71
  • Jan 21 Rash Behari Bose, Indian revolutionary leader against the British Raj in India, dies at 58
  • Jan 22 Alfred Wolfenstein, German writer, dies at 61
  • Jan 22 Carlo Felice Boghen, composer, dies a day before 76th birthday
  • Jan 22 Johan Eykman, theologist (World Church), dies at 52
  • Jan 22 Else Lasker-Schuler, German-born poet (b. 1869)
  • Jan 23 Helmuth J. Moltke, German politician ("July 20th Plot"), executed at 37
  • Jan 27 Antal Szerb, Hungarian author and historian, dies at 43
  • Jan 27 Gideon Klein, Moravian pianist and composer, dies in a Nazi labor camp at 26 (date approximate)
  • Jan 30 Gottlieb Haberlandt, Austrian botanist, dies at 90
  • Jan 30 William Busch, British composer, dies at 43
  • Jan 31 Eddie Slovik, 1st US executed for desertion since Civil War at 25